Russian President Dmitry Medvedev: Cancels Vancouver Olympic Trip
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has canceled a planned trip to Vancouver to attend the Closing ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games
The announcement comes as a surprise because Russia is the next host of the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014, and Medvedev had planned to attend.
No official reason for the cancellation was given, but Olympic protocol does not require the president of the next host country to attend the closing ceremonies.
One thing is clear is that Russian has not done well at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games. The Russian Men's Hockey team lost to Canada, when many expected them to compete for Gold on Sunday prior to the Closing Ceremonies.
Russia has faced doping charges fro the International Olympic Committee and the speculation is that Dmitry Medvedev is perhaps a bit piqued about the way Russian and Russian athletes have been treated during the Vancouver Olympic Games. Then their was the storm over Evgeny Plashenko receiving the silver and not the gold medal during the men's figure skating program.
Recent editorials in Pravada illustrate, perhaps, the Russian sentiment
As Plushenko explains, “I did a great short program but did not get the marks I deserved. When I asked why, they told me I was skating early and they had to retain top marks for the last group…Then in the free program, I was the last to skate, did everything clean and still didn’t get the marks”.
Everybody who knows anything about Olympic skating, Winter Olympic sports and international politics will infer from the pitiful and dangerous conditions provided by the Canadian authorities, which already caused one death, that Vancouver is mutton dressed as lamb. Take off the outer veneer and the stench is horrific.
It is a surprise that any Russian athlete would wish to remain in that sort of environment for a second longer.
If a politician can score domestic political points by cancelling a foreign trip, Russian or not, it may well explain why Russian President Dmitry Medvedev won't be coming to Vancouver